Norfolk family reunited

Tracey GrayA Norfolk family has been reunited following a 12-month battle with immigration officials.Tracey Gray

A Norfolk family has been reunited following a 12-month battle with immigration officials.

Darren Jarrad has finally been able to bring home his Canadian wife Chantel, and two-year-old daughter Shyanne, after the dispute, which saw the family having to make a second visa application after the first was turned down.

They are now starting a new life together in Felmingham, near North Walsham, in a home Mr Jarrad shares with his father, Kevin.

Mr Jarrad, who has only been able to see his wife and daughter twice in the last year, flew out to collect them on March 31 and the family arrived back in Norfolk on Wednesday .

The former Royal Anglian infantryman, 28, said: 'We are so very grateful for all the support from everyone who has helped us when we were struggling and did not know where to turn to next, and also everyone who donated to help us with the second visa application.

'We always said no matter what we would always be together, even if in the end I had to move out to Canada, but we never gave up, although at times we were left thinking, 'what do we do now' ?

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'Chantel had to put her life on hold; she has had a part time job for the past few months because she has just been waiting to here if she can come over here.'

Mr Jarrad said their next move was to get Shyanne into a local nursery and then look for somewhere of their own to live.

In fact they have already started the normal family routine. On their first day back yesterday , they went on a family food shopping trip together.

Mrs Jarrad, 25, said: 'It has been hard to just keep seeing each other every so often. Although Darren and I can accept that, it has been harder for Shyanne. I have had to keep telling that her daddy was away working because she just did not understand why he was not there.

'It was comforting to know that there was such much support for us from everyone in Norfolk.'

Mrs Jarrad will start work as a care worker at specialist Wroxham care home Keys Hill Park, after managing director Dennis Bacon heard of the couple's plight. He interviewed Mrs Jarrad on an internet link across the Atlantic and offered her a job.

The couple met in 2006 while Mr Jarrad, who now works for a floor restoration company, was on a training exercise in Canada.

Their daughter was born in 2007 and, after the couple married in April 2009, Mr Jarrad started to put in place plans for them both to come to Norfolk.

But in August last year , the UK Border Agency refused his wife and daughter's visa application on the grounds that Mrs Jarrad would be a drain on public funds by claiming benefits.

After their story was featured in the Evening News, a campaign was launched, with the help of north Norfolk MP Norman Lamb and county councillor for the south Smallburgh division, Paul Rice, to help the family pay for a second visa application.

In just days the appeal had raised �1,500.

The Jarrads were given the news the second application had been successful in February this year .